Unlike my husband who has always thought Jamie Oliver was a pretentious Mockney twat, I’ve always had time for the man. Thanks to him I can cook a stonking risotto, for which I will remain forever grateful. I liked his campaigning on the issue of school meals. It seemed important to bring up the fact that turkey twizzlers are made of pig toenails and that per head, less is spent on children’s school lunches than those of crims in prison. I like his enthusiasm for cooking, and his work with Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall on raising awareness of food waste and over fishing was also good stuff.
I have however, gone right off him in recent weeks.
Firstly, there is the whole banging on about how simply marvellous and wonderful breast feeding is, and how it is totally easy peasy and he doesn’t understand why everyone isn’t doing it all the time.
My reaction, in a nut shell: ‘FUCK OFF.’
Until you have fed a child who isn’t getting enough milk from your failing bosom for hours while she screams because she’s starving, you cannot comment.
Until you have fed through cracked, bleeding, raw nipples, you cannot comment.
Until you have passed out on the bathroom floor with mastitis and been carried to the Dr by your husband who thinks you might actually be dying, you cannot bloody comment.
Secondly there is the whole notion of the sugar tax. A sugar tax which only applies to fizzy drinks.
My reaction to the sugar tax boils down to this simple to use phrase: ‘FOR FUCK’S SAKE’.
Broken down, here it is in more detail:
I give you prohibition. It did not work.
I give you increasing taxation on alcohol. It does not put people off.
I give you increasing taxation of cigarettes. It does not work.
I give you the fact that sugar does not just exist in soft, fizzy drinks, amazingly enough. It is in alcohol and smoothies and milkshakes, fruit and juices and all kinds of things, including potatoes and crisps and bread and pasta, because too many carbs turn into sugar if you have no other way to digest them, so taxing Coca-Cola is going to do the same thing taxing alcohol and cigarettes do.
What is that, oh great guru? I hear you cry.
Well, firstly it’s going to give Osborne a great deal of money to play with, which he is basically taking from ordinary people, as, with all these things, the price of the things people buy will go up to compensate for the tax, and people will still buy them anyway. He says he’s going to spend it on children’s sport in schools. He says lots of things. He promised three things in his time as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Three large things. He has broken his promise on two of them already. I don’t believe a bloody word of it.
Secondly, it’s going to make 3/5ths of fuck all difference in terms of obesity unless we go back to teaching people properly about nutrition and cooking real food.
Thirdly, it’s making Osborne look like he’s doing something when he’s doing nothing at all except supporting his wealthy friends and helping them ride roughshod over the poor. AGAIN.
Fourthly, it’s going to make people who think sugar is ‘evil’, start banging on self righteously again. Dear God, people. Get some perspective here. Sugar is not evil. It is just sugar. ISIS is evil. Osborne is quite evil. Not teaching proper domestic science in school is reasonably evil, but sugar? Bollocks is it?
If sugar is the only ‘evil’ you can find yourself getting worked up about, you live in a much nicer world than I do, and I’m wondering if I can pop over for a visit?